Look Out Beef and Chicken: Alternative Proteins Will Make Up One-Third of Protein Consumption by 2050

Beyond Meat is going above and beyond when it comes to alternative protein.

Conventional meat eaters – we’re gaining on you. By 2050, the ecological protein market (more commonly known as alternative meat) will be one third of the overall market, according to a new report from Lux Research.

Why is alternative meat the “future” of the world’s protein intake? Well, according to Bill Gates it has to be in order to keep the Earth healthy and the food chain in check…

According to Civil Eats, Bill Gates recently invested in Hampton Creek and Beyond Meat, two plant-based protein start-ups. His (and presumably other people’s) increasing interest in ecological protein is based on the fact that industrial livestock is detrimental to the waterways and the overall climate.

So, what alternative proteins will be in the spotlight? Lux Research pinpoints the following:

“Soy will take a projected 80 percent share of the alternative protein market in the short term. Proteins extracted from peas, rice, and canola, also known as ‘second-generation proteins’ will also grow ‘at a tremendous rate.’ Most intriguing, the research firm says that the demand for so-called ‘nascent’ proteins will rise at mid-century. These ‘third-generation’ proteins, which include insects, algae, and other proteins derived from bioengineering, could make up 50 percent of the alternative protein market by 2054.”

Now, we’ve reported on edible insects before (check out this piece about the future of bugs as food, and this piece about European bug burgers for more information), but since those stories ran, the entire edible bug sector has come a long way.

According to Civil Eats, there are a handful of new companies that are dedicated to making cricket-based products. Why? Well, raising crickets takes much fewer resources than raising livestock. “According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) crickets emit less greenhouse gases and ammonia than livestock and six times less feed than cattle. It’s important to note that these statistics came up for dispute recently.”

Would you ever eat “cricket meat?” Or try an Exo Bar (a protein bar made with cricket flour)?

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Image: Beyond Chicken Tofu Scramble from Facebook